Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sara Blakely: The 'Spanx pants' Billionaire! Be Inspired!

So its been a few days I did this, dont think I know my way around very much now!but since going online this story was just one of those that struck me so much and I thought I must blog em just to inspire a few of you out there (including me ofcourse).

I think more striking in this story is just the fact that there were obstacles in the way of this woman that never deterred her, she single handedly started this business of 'Big pant' on her own writing the patent herself, sourcing buyers starting with the big ones like Saks Fifth and Neiman Marcus, all the way to Oprah Winfrey's stylist (Oprah later included Spanx on her “Favourite Things Show” and ofcourse you need no other advertising agency to help you boost sales. Oprah in herself is a power house!. Further celebrity endorsements followed from singer Gwen Stefani and style icon Sarah Jessica Parker and Spanx got covered in women’s magazines including Vogue as well as business magazines such as Forbes.

Like all inventions her epiphany came when she found she needed a product that didn’t yet exist. A side line in stand-up comedy saw her stuck with what to wear for a show one night. Her white trousers allowed her normal underwear to be seen – the dreaded VPL (visible panty line).

Blakely had the brainwave of cutting the feet out of a pair of tights (or panty hose as they are known in the US) to create a smoothing and firming effect. However, when she wore the cut off tights underneath her trousers she found the tights rolled up her legs all night.

This wardrobe malfunction meant an idea was born. At 29, Blakely invested her life savings of $5,000 (£3,190) trying to come up with something flattering to wear under white trousers. Control hosiery Spanx was born and Blakely wrote the patent herself to save money. The name itself was on the saucy side while the slogan “we’ve got your butt covered” captured department store buyers’ attention.

Now the her company generates almost almost $250million (£160million) in annual revenues with net profit margins of about 20%. And because Blakely has never received outside investment and the company remains hers and hers alone, stretchy pants have made her incredibly rich (See Bliss) *sighs*

Blakely prides herself on finding her own way in business, and relying on gut instinct. She didn’t have any business education and no board of advisers to give the benefit of their experience. - Hope yall read that part well. She didnt need none of that! doesnt mean you dont need it. Not every one is business savvy like that but hey you might have friend that do, ASK and you shall receive joor!

“Now I give speeches and I always ask: If no one showed you how to do your job, how would you be doing it?” she told Business Week. “Take a moment and ask that question. Often your way is better. Maybe it's a fresh new approach. If you are doing something the way that everyone is doing it, you are not really creating change by doing it that way.” - Tell them please! This is soo true. The fact that you do something different to other doesnt mean your way is stupid. I believe this

To date she’s donated about £17.5million to charities, with a focus on those who help girls and women - Do not forget that there is poverty in the world when you make that money people. There are alot of mouths to feed, people to clothe, some need more encouragement than others. Giving liberates you so do IT!

The company has been valued at $1billion (£638million) by four separate Wall Street investment banks. There are now 200 Spanx products sold in 11,500 department stores, boutiques and online shops in 40 countries - Hmm if you ask me people this is not too bad for someone who failed law school admission tests twice and went on to work as a meeter-and-greeter for Disney! Dont laugh at that door sales man or woman who comes by to sell you things, he or she might just be the next Billionaire!

Be inspired!

Blossom always xxx

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